Buffaloberry is a native North American fruit that has been used as food and medicine for hundreds of years. In August of 1804, Lewis and Clark, two European explorers travelling the southeastern South Dakota were introduced to buffaloberry by members of the Yankton Sioux tribes which they later on brought with them back to Europe.
Buffaloberry is an evergreen shrub that is a member of the elaeagnaceae family. Its scientific name is shepherdia argentea. This berry is a deciduous thorny shrub that can grow up to 6 meters tall on steep slopes between 5000 to 8000 feet elevation and commonly found in the Great Plains of the North. Wild buffaloberry can also be found growing along the rivers and streams of Dakota, California and Canada. They thrive well in dry, rocky soil and are tolerant of windswept areas. Buffaloberry, also known as Lead bush has brown thorny branches that are sparsely covered with silvery scales. Its leave is curved at the edges and oblong in shape resembling that of a tongue. It exhibits a modest grayish green flower that blooms during the months of May and June. The fruit is egg-shaped, about 3/8 inches long in scarlet-red color with a tart taste. They are in full season in the months of August or September.
Buffaloberry is a powerhouse of nutrition and powerful antioxidant, which are qualities of a super food. They contain a large amount of highly potent antioxidants known as lycopene and methyl-lycopenoate. Its lycopene content is high as compared to tomatoes, which tops the list as the best source of lycopene. Lycopene is a red carotenoid pigment present in tomatoes and most berries which has the ability to reduce your chance of developing stomach, lung and prostate cancer. It can also lower your bad cholesterol level and cut down your risk of getting heart disease by 50 percent.
This superfruit also contain a rich amount of vitamin C that is 4 times more than oranges as well as loads of fibers, carotenoids and phenolic antioxidants that helps you fight the harmful effects of free radicals in the body. This little berry can also reduce inflammation and slow down your cellular aging. It is used to treat a number of ailments that includes stomach trouble, fever, gallstone, body aches, arthritis, constipation, venereal disease, tuberculosis, boils and acne. So much power from a little berry, right?
Here’s how you can enjoy fresh buffaloberry… the best time to eat this wonder berry raw is after the frost, when it has been naturally sweetened. Remember to wash the berry well to remove any impurities and eat in moderation as overindulgence can cause diarrhea.
Stay fit. Eat organic. Avoid GMO.
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